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Thieves’ tunnel in the cellar containing vintage Whitney Houston wines

In one of the most unusual capers of recent weeks, an enterprising team of criminals with the impeccable taste of fine wines entered a secure high-end cellar and stole up to $ 65,000 worth of classic vintages, port and wine. whiskey.

A director of Vintage Wines Ltd in Nottingham, England said they were “embarrassed” by the theft and are now in the process of contacting many stars and celebrities who are using the company’s storage vault to their high-priced bottles.

A collection of fine wines belonging to the late singer Whitney Houston, who died in 2012, was stored in the cellars but was not part of the stash stolen by the criminals.

The suspected thieves, who allegedly knocked twice on October 17 and then knocked again on October 23 during normal store hours to avoid setting off alarms, were caught red-handed by staff.

They are believed to have dug out abandoned buildings surrounding the business to gain access to the store’s vaults, which contain hundreds of high-value bottles of wine, whiskey and port owned by collectors.

Two men, named by police as Luke Mitchell, 34, and Nicholas Lowe, 39, have been charged with criminal damage and burglary.

Detective Constable Sean Davison, who is investigating the incident, said: “This was a series of high-value burglaries that added significant costs and inconvenience to a local business at an already difficult time. . We will continue to do everything in our power to disrupt those who target business premises in this way.

“Obviously, this is a huge blow to someone’s livelihood and we will do everything we can to bring those responsible to justice.”

The managing director of the company, which was founded in 1948 and is a leading specialist supplier to restaurants and regional businesses, told the British newspaper The temperature: “There is usually no reason to go into the cellar unless it is to collect a bottle for a specific customer. One of our employees came downstairs and caught them helping themselves. It was pretty scary. Fortunately, no one got hurt.

“We are now experiencing exactly what was taken, but initially it seems they were targeting whiskeys, wines and port worth thousands of pounds each.”

He added: “We’re still doing an inventory, but it’s not the mass volume that people think of missing cases, it’s more like backpacks and bottle kits and they have. chose bottles.

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